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Thread: First Pixel Purchase

  1. #1
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    Default First Pixel Purchase

    Hello all! I'm excited to join the community and take the plunge into this new hobby. After watching lots of videos and reading the forums, I've decided to standardize with 5V pixels. I've already ordered most parts and supplies to get started, including F16v3, Pi, power supplies, etc. Pretty much everything but the actual pixels.

    I've priced the purchase of 20 strands of 5V 18awg with xconnect pigtails from Ray. With shipping, it's right at $270. I also found 5V strands that are labeled 20awg at Wired
    Watts. After shipping it will be about $250. I have no issue ordering from China (especially a reputable supplier like Ray), but I do lean towards domestic suppliers for convenience, speed, etc. In this case it's even a little cheaper.

    My main question is will I see a real world difference in performance between the 18awg and the 20awg? I wonder if any of you guys who are running bigger shows use the 20awg or even the 24awg I see on Rays page for $5 a strand? I know in theory, the bigger the better, but has anyone measured the difference in performance?


    Thanks in advance!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
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    Default Re: First Pixel Purchase

    I run thousands of Rays promo pixels for several years now. I have no complaints. I have thousands from Amazon with larger gauge wire, I have to replace bad pixels and broken wires from these at a 10-1 rate compared to Rays.


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  3. #3
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    Default Re: First Pixel Purchase

    I appreciate the reply. I plan to use 1/2 of these for my roof line and will install permanently under the eaves. I just noticed the specs on the Wired Watts set is IP65 vs the IP68 from Ray. Should I steer away from those for this application?


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  4. #4
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    Default Re: First Pixel Purchase

    Ip65 under the eaves, out of the weather will probably be ok. But given the choice I would go with the IP68, especially for a permanent installation.


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  5. #5
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    Sauk City, WI USA
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    Default Re: First Pixel Purchase

    First off, don't believe 18awg claims on Chinese stuff including pixels from Ray. Ray has admitted his pixels are not 18AWG (too big for boards). His extensions and wire might be 18 but his pixels are not.

    Secondly, ask Wired Watts who is the supplier of his pixels. Unless he has found a new supplier, I think he was using Ray. And hence the wording on his site regarding wire size.

    There would be real world differences between 18 and 20 wire but 18 is impossible to find. It would probably be in the single digit pixels.

    There was a thread last year about the $5 5V pixels being not good in high count strings. Someone tried to use them in a matrix and they were flaking "down the line". Basically, there was "bit rot" as the timing was just off a little. Based on the issues other have had, for low count strings of pixels they are probably fine. If you are going to try to get 680 or 1000 on one output, you might want to pay for the better quality.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: First Pixel Purchase

    Quote Originally Posted by TSL View Post
    I run thousands of Rays promo pixels for several years now. I have no complaints. I have thousands from Amazon with larger gauge wire, I have to replace bad pixels and broken wires from these at a 10-1 rate compared to Rays.
    Are you saying pixels from other vendors than Ray break 10x more often? I am spending so much time fixing my incandescent lights. I hope moving to LEDs/pixels will allow me to spend more time setting things up than fixing things. Also how much did you pay for the pixels from Ray? 2021 will be my first year with a light show so I am planning (just measured the house/windows/door) to put it in xLights.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: First Pixel Purchase

    No sir. I was only stating that I have pixels from another vendor I paid more for that have problems.

    I have the 5.00 promo pixels from Ray. Heís been running that promo for several years. I have had great luck with them. I run 5v pixels so any long runs I have all have power injection. Rays pixels have performed as expected for me. I canít speak about others, only my experience.


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